Portrayed in Hilary and Jackie , notorious for her marriage to Daniel Barenboim and mourned for the life and career she lost to multiple sclerosis, Jacqueline du Pr+ª is still best remembered as one of the finest musicians Britain has ever produced. Few cellists could hope to achieve the level of mastery and emotion she poured into her treasured EMI recordings, collected here in complete form on 17 CDs: her stunning interpretations of Elgar, Dvorak, Beethoven, Schumann, Bach, Chopin, Haydn, Brahms, Strauss and more!
Why has one piece of music here, the Elgar Cello Concerto played by Jacqueline DuPre become so legendary? Of course it is the music itself. It has an overpowerful haunting deeply hypnotic feeling. Elgar wrote it after his recovery from a serious illness towards the end of the First War, and his thoughts were certainly on the suffering of life, and the inevitability of death. Du Pre brings to the piece not only her great mastery as cellist, but some deeper element of feeling. There is in the playing a sense of romantic abandoment of wild disturbance, and of intense and even ferious concentration.
Jacqueline du Pre’s career, though tragically brief, coincided with a golden age of recording. This 17-disc treasury unites her entire EMI Classics legacy and includes – for the first time on CD – two Bach sonata movements from her 1962 debut recital for the label. Interpretations long recognised as classic are joined by further rarities, among them the Lalo Cello Concerto, recorded with Daniel Barenboim and the Cleveland Orchestra in 1973, and, from 1968, Strauss’s Don Quixote under Sir Adrian Boult. This collection includes the very latest Abbey Road remasters of Du Pré’s recordings in one definitive boxed set and offers the listener the ultimate listening experience with a fantastic clarity of sound and dynamic range. The collection includes a full-colour 32-page booklet detailing the life and art of Du Pré in both words and pictures as well as a timeline overview of her career.
Daniel Barenboim, the New Philharmonia Orchestra and Jacqueline du Pre deliver lush interpretations of these cello concertos by Schumann and Saint-Saens. The musicians display finesse and delicacy. These are the definitive performances, absolutely a must-own.
On this magnificent audiophile download, world renowned cellist Jacqueline Du Pre renders a gut-wrenching performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E Minor. This standard in the classical repertoire is delivered with unmatched emotion and virtuosity. This recording also features breathtaking vocals by Janet Baker on the Elgar classic, Sea Pictures. The purity of her tone is absolutely stunning. A highly recommended addition to any classical lover’s collection.
The good news is that the Piano Concerto receives a splendid reading. Barenboim has a strong feeling for the logic of the work, even down to an occasional slow tempo that works very well. His tone is generally pleasing, and Fischer-Dieskau's accompaniment is exciting and supportive. The Introduction and Allegro goes less well. It requires a degree of fantasy on the part of the soloist that Barenboim just doesn't have. His performance is just too prosaic. There are better performances by Rudolf Serkin and Christian Zaccarias. As for the Cello Concerto, it is altogether more controversial. Technically, Du Pre's playing is stunning. She plays with a tone that is consistently full and enticing, even noble. The problem is that some of her tempos are really slow, even making the piece drag on occasion. Barenboim's accompaniment is very good, but this recording should be of interest mainly to cello afficianados and Du Pre fans. For a more mainstream recording of the piece, one might start with Maria Kliegel on Naxos.
This fine recording of Dvorák's Cello Concerto by Dutch cellist Pieter Wispelwey with Hungarian conductor Iván Fischer leading the Budapest Festival Orchestra is as generous, honest, and compelling as the music itself. Wispelwey has a rich, ringing tone that can ride over orchestral tutti fortes yet still sound fully present in intimate pianissimos. He also has an elegant technique that can accomplish anything the work asks without calling undue attention to itself. These qualities allow him to lean into the work's powerful drama and aching lyricism without dividing his attention. The commanding Fischer leads the rich-toned Budapest Festival Orchestra in an accompaniment as musically interesting and dramatically significant as the solo part.
Acclaimed instrumentalists, Jacqueline du Pre and Daniel Barenboim, perform earlier masterpieces by Brahms. These sonatas written for cello and piano invoke the romantic style, interpreted superbly by the pair. The performances are expressive, graceful and reveal the pieces’ sheer tonal beauty. A vital addition to any music lover's library.
This month, on the Chandos Classics label, we are re-releasing our recording of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor and the Konzertstück for Cello and Orchestra by Dohnányi (CHAN8662), performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras, with Raphael Wallfisch the featured soloist.